Belief and Life in His Name: John 20.19-29

Easter! Resurrection Sunday! While the follower of Jesus lives in the life of the resurrected Jesus every day of the year, Easter Sunday is special!

This morning we consider John 20.19-29 and that first Lord’s Day, evening of the day Jesus arose from the dead, as well as the following Lord’s Day. Thomas missed Jesus’ first appearance to His disciples. At issue for “doubting Thomas” in our passage is not the existence of God or the fact of resurrection. (He was ancient Israelite, and he’d seen Lazarus raised, and many other miracles besides.) At issue for Thomas is the identity of the risen Lord Jesus. What Thomas doesn’t know is whether the Jesus the other disciples claim to have seen is the same Jesus he has grown to know and love and believe in.

If Jesus is a ghost or some other apparition, then Thomas has to start all over again figuring out God’s plan and purpose and what it all means for him. But, if Jesus is the same, then Thomas is right in the middle of God’s plan and can move forward with confidence.

Have a look at John 20.19-29. Note Thomas’ response. Keep in mind that our New Testament is the product of Jesus’ first followers being convinced that Jesus is alive!

  1. What about you? If you know Christ, what about the Gospel story proved satisfying to you, so that you know Jesus is alive?
  2. If you are experiencing doubt, what is the nature of your doubt?
  3. Jesus showed Himself to His disciples before sending them out to carry His Gospel to people like us. That was before He returned to the Father. How might we expect Jesus to show Himself to us today?
  4. What do you think of Augustine’s 4th century dictum: “I believe in order to understand”? How is this not a leap of blind faith? What Scripture do you think Augustine might have been thinking of?
  5. What is particularly encouraging to you about John’s account of Thomas and the other disciples?
  6. What questions do you still have?

Have a blessed Resurrection Sunday!

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